1. List one thousand gifts The list is complete. I wrote down 1,100 gifts this year. Honestly, there should have been more on the list. There were days when I didn’t write down a single thing. I wasn’t as intentional with my list towards the end of the year as I was back in January. That being said, I think I will always count gifts to some extent. There really is something powerful about putting down on paper all that God has given you. And keeping that list changed my perspective. The hard days weren’t so difficult. I saw the mundane days with new eyes. There was a lot of glory waiting to be discovered in the ordinary.
2. Pray more for Jackson. Trust God with the big and the little in my son’s life. Never forget that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. This is an area I’ll never be able to perfect. There will always be room for improvement. But throughout this year – with the speech delays, toddler tantrums, and the many joy-filled moments – God has shown me just how incredible my son is. I’m less worried about the lack of words and I remind myself often that Before a word is formed on Jackson’s lips the Lord knows it (Psalm 139:4)
3. Read more. Soak up the words. Get lost in a good book…or two…or three… This year I read a lot. Towards the first of the year I was a reading machine, but that tapered off as the year came to an end. Some of my favorite books this year included: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. I already have a list of books I’m looking forward to reading in 2015.
4. Seek God and what He has in store for me as a writer. Blog more consistently. Continue to share our story and trust God to continue using it for His glory. I’m still not sure I know exactly what God wants for me in this area. This year I blogged three days a week pretty consistently. I participated in the Write31Days series and that stretched my writing muscles for sure. I’ve had the opportunity to speak several times and have sold books. I also published an ebook in May. An idea for another ebook is brewing, but I’m uncertain if I should publish it at this point in time. One thing I know for certain: I will always write. It’s just what I do. But worrying about numbers and platforms and likes and followers just makes me bone-tired. So seeking God and His plans for my writing is something that will carry over in to the new year.
5. Extend grace to myself and to my son. To not let the toddler temper tantrums get the best of me. To get to this place: Something very magical happened the day my world didn’t stop turning because of his behavior. I’ve made progress, but I still have work to do. I am such a Type-A person, which makes motherhood super hard some days. I have high expectations for myself and those flow over onto my son and rob us both of so much joy. Some days I’m still grasping for the grace that God so freely gives. I’ve spent my life trying to live perfectly and please people instead of basking in the grace He so freely gives. I’ll never be able to lavish my son with grace, if I don’t first let it flood over me.
6. Journal more…both with words and with a lens. I’ve definitely captured life through a lens this year. I’ve also documented so much on the blog. But in 2015 I’d love to get back to writing the old-fashioned way – with a great journal and my favorite purple pen.
7. Find joy in the midst of the mundane – I’ve discovered there’s a lot of glory waiting to be found in the ordinary – I even wrote a 31 Day Series about it.